Former State Rep. Bob Genetski & Allegan County Commissioner Jon Campbell Running For Allegan County Clerk-Register Seat
Former State Rep. Bob Genetski (R-Saugatuck) and 25-year Allegan County Commissioner Jon Campbell (District 6) are vying for the Republican nomination for the office of Allegan County Clerk-Register in the August 2nd primary election.
The candidates’ filing deadline was Tuesday and no one filed for the Democratic nomination, the Allegan County Clerk’s office told The Local Observer.
“It’s a big year of changes in Allegan County (other open seats in the November 2016 election includes Allegan County Sheriff and Allegan County Prosecuting Attorney).
“With my longevity at the county, I think that I would be a stabilizing force,” said Campbell.
“The clerk is the keeper of the records and you don’t want to give that to just anybody.”
Genetski said he has the right experience and qualities to perform the duties of clerk-register.
“Something stuck with me when County Commissioner Tom Jessup (District 5) was first campaigning for his seat in 2006 and its remained with me ever since: ‘It seems like the further you are from Allegan, the less county government cares about you.’
“Now, that may or may not be the case, but if it is, I want to be there for all taxpayers, be more responsive, conduct more outreach and be more collaborative,” said Genetski.
The Allegan County Clerk’s Office has three major functions: manage county elections, manage vital records (i.e. birth, death, marriage records, processes applications for concealed weapons licenses, notary publics, etc.), and processes and maintain all circuit court files.
Current Allegan County Clerk-Register Joyce Watts will be retiring at the end of this year, having been in that role since 1988 and register of deeds for 12 years before the clerk and register positions were merged.
“When serving the public, one of the most important things for me is to keep your promises,” said Genetski.
“My record speaks to that,” said Genetski, referring to how he voted for the elimination of the Michigan Business Tax which was “killing jobs”.
He noted he also worked to balance the state’s budget as well as cut expenses where he could, including what he said amounted to 10 percent of his own salary and 10 percent of his former state office’s budget.
Before he was term limited, Genetski served six years as a member of the Michigan House of Representatives, representing the 88th District which covers Allegan County (including the cities of Saugatuck, Holland, Allegan, Douglas, Fennville, Plainwell, South Haven and Wayland.
Prior to serving in government, Genetski was a school teacher for a decade. He taught at Orion Alternative School, which caters to at-risk students.
Campbell is in his 26th year serving on the Allegan County Board of Commissioners, and has announced that he will not be seeking re-election in November general election.
He has also served as a police officer in the Otsego Police Department, 27 years full time, three-years part time.
He began working two months ago as a regulation agent for the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA).
“I recently changed jobs and that doesn’t allow the freedom I had on the county board (of commissioners) to directly serve the public,” said Campbell.
“This (county clerk vacancy) seems to provide the opportunity to serve the people of Allegan County,” said Campbell.
“People who know me, know I like to roll up my sleeves and when I get involved, I get involved a lot.”
Genetski also discussed why he was interested in the clerk-register position.
“In my meeting with Allegan County taxpayers, they are well aware that Clerk Joyce Watts (current Allegan County Clerk-Register) is leaving at the end of the year,” said Genetski.
“She has 28 years of experience and institutional knowledge. I was approached by them knowing they are going to lose someone of that caliber.
‘We really need someone that is going to work hard with local government and the local taxpayer,’ they told Genetski.”